Special report: Mobile C-Arms and the refurbished market

April 06, 2011
by Olga Deshchenko, DOTmed News Reporter
This report originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of DOTmed Business News

While OEMs are showcasing their latest FD mobile C-Arm systems, some health care providers might decide to test their luck on the refurbished market. But it’ll prove to be a challenge.

Imaging refurb experts say flat panel technology on mobile systems is far from reaching the used market, since FD units are just beginning to make ripples in new product sales. Other industry figures echo some OEM sentiments in saying that FD must first prove its clinical superiority to image intensifier systems.

[Read the C-Arm Industry Sector Report]

But that doesn’t mean the refurb sector isn’t getting any attention. Along with the rise of pain management and orthopedic procedures comes the demand for reliable image intensifier-based systems. In fact, the quest for certain systems outpaces the number of units available for refurbishing and resale. “The competition is fierce right now,” says Matthew Blaustein, president of Bluestone Diagnostics.

Providers shopping around on the refurb market are always interested in GE’s family of OEC systems, such as the 9600 and 9800 models. Blaustein dubs the OEC as “the Rolls Royce of C-Arm” because of its proven durability, reliability and widespread access to parts. “You could get service on an OEC 9600 or 9800 in any part of the country,” he says.

In addition to making sure a provider is dealing with a reputable and experienced company, refurb experts advise customers to explore the options on the resale market. Many mobile C-Arms can be outfitted with features like flat panel monitors and wireless capabilities, at a much lower cost. For example, end-users looking for Ziehm Imaging products could save between 30 and 70 percent on the resellers’ market, says Blaustein.